Creature Features 

North American beavers have stocky bodies with a yellow brown to almost black coat and a broad, flat, scaly tail. Their large orange incisors grow continuously throughout their lifetime. They have webbed rear feet and digitated front paws. The beaver’s stocky body enables it to conserve heat.

Beavers are herbivores. They eat leaves, woody stems and aquatic plants. They use strong front teeth to cut trees and other plants they use both for building and food. A beaver’s teeth grow continuously so that they will not be worn down by chewing on wood.

Reproduction                                                                                                                                                                                            It’s generally believed that beavers pair for life. They breed in the winter from January to late February, and females give birth in the spring. The female has her first litter at about 3 years of age. After a gestation of 130 days, she gives birth to a litter of 2-4 babies, called kits. The kits weigh from ½ to 1½ pounds at birth and are born fully furred, with their eyes open. They can swim within 24 hours. After several days, the kits can dive out of the lodge with their parents to explore the surrounding area. They stay with their parents until the spring of their second year.

Fun Facts

  • Scientific Name: Castor canadensis 
  • Conservation Status:  Least Concern
  • Life Span:  10 to 12 years but have been known to live as long as 24 years in the wild; oldest on record lived 30 years in human care
  • Body Length: 3 to 4 feet long and stand 1 to 1½ feet tall
  • Weight: T 10 to 30 pounds
  • Habitat: Beavers are found throughout North America with the exception of California and Nevada deserts and parts of Utah and Arizona. They live in ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes, streams and adjacent wetland areas

Did You Know?

  • Beavers are the second largest rodent in the world after the capybara.
  • Beavers are known for building dams on rivers and streams. Their homes, called lodges, are dome-like constructions built from branches and mud. They are positioned in open water for protection from predators and have underwater entrance holes.
  • They have keen senses of hearing, smell, and touch.
  • Beavers are slow on land, but with webbed hind-feet, and a broad tail they are good swimmers, and can stay under water for as long as 15 minutes.
  • Beavers possess a set of transparent eyelids which enable them to see under water.
  •  Beavers do not have the ability to burp, but they can pass gas.